It introduces a novel concept called Intermediar-ease
Saffron for Intermediaries has officially launched Intermediar-ease, a new concept that has been developed on the back of communication with brokers and will hold the mutual to account on service standards.
A survey of 101 brokers, conducted by Mobas on behalf of Saffron Building Society, identified that 68% of brokers had to complain to a lender for poor service in the last 12 months. Additionally, a further half admitted they had to complain to a lender due to the length of time to receive a decision for their client.
Brokers also admitted that service standards from lenders have dropped since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, with 96.4% stating the service was good to excellent during the pandemic. This has dropped to 75% since restrictions were lifted.
“Recent research shows that there is some dissatisfaction across the board with brokers, and this needs to be addressed,” Tony Hall (pictured), head of mortgage sales at Saffron, said.
“Following extensive strategic planning and insight, we can finally announce our new initiative, Intermediar-ease, which puts our service standards to account, opens communication channels and allows brokers to clearly identify the changes we have made, and those that will be made in the future.”
Since the pandemic, Saffron has made strides in the improvement of its service. The BDM team has grown from two full-time, and one part-time, team members, to eleven. The society launched two new secure websites, with the intermediary site benefitting from new affordability calculators across the range of products, a live-chat function, and a news section to keep brokers informed of recent updates.
Saffron has also undertaken one of the largest criteria updates across the product base in the more than 170 years of its history. This has created solutions that would help first-time buyers, self-employed and contractor clients who had been adversely impacted by the pandemic.
Additionally, the lender continued to develop its highly successful education and entertainment platform, SFI LIVE, to engage directly with brokers.
“This is just the start. With so many changes, it is hard for brokers to keep up, which can mean missed opportunities for them and their clients. Equally, we know brokers are busy and may not always take the time to provide feedback to us. The Intermediar-ease concept is a way to bring all of this together,” Hall said.
Intermediar-ease updates will feature prominently across the Saffron for Intermediaries social media channels, in regular email communications, will drive content on the website and will be the basis of education through the SFI LIVE webinar series.